43 answers

Boys in Women's Locker Room

First, I have no problem with really little ones because they don't notice and comment on differences. But seriously, yesterday at the pool some lady had her son who looked to be at least 6 in the ladies changing room!

What really bothered me is that this facility has 3 changing rooms - ladies, mens and FAMILY! And gee, guess who the family is for??? Folks taking thier opposite gender kids swimming so they can get them changed, go to the bath room etc.

I did not say anthing to the Mom, but I probably did not need to becuase my 4 year old asked me rather loudly why there was a boy in the room. Shortly after that, they left. I did say something quick to management, suggested they put up a sign as a reminder.

So - what age do you think kids should stop using the locker room of the opposite gender? Would that age change if there was a family locker room available? And would you have said something to the Mom, Management, or both?

Just curious, but since it is not the first time it has happened, and probably won't be the last I was wondering how you folks dealt with it?

Thanks for your thoughts!!

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Wow! I never expected this much of a response, never mind the follow up questions out there!

In this case the family changing room is comparable in size and actually offers more privacy than the ladies changing room. It is also almost always empty!

Also, I was actually being charitable when I said he was at least 6, he actually looked closer to 8 and was looking around everywhere.

I saw in these responses a lot about nudity and sex and modesty. I personnaly do not equate nudity with sex, if one conditon led to the other then there would be a lot more people in the world! What I am is modest, am not comfortable with anyone(other than hubby) seeing me nude. Even at 4 my daughter has learned to respect everyones privacy, and does not walk in on Mommy.

Kudos to the mom's who due to circumstance have to bring thier boys in and have them avert thier eyes or face the wall. That is making the best of a difficult situation and a wonderful solution!

Finally, this is a private pool where I have to pay for membership (more than worth it!) and there is the expectation that the rules will be followed / enforced.

Anyway thanks for the input, especially since my second child is going to be a boy....

Thanks all!

Featured Answers

My son will be 6 in September, probably looks over that now, since his cousin is 8 and they look the same age to me and others. I bring him in the restroom with me, sometimes the family room is not available, he has to go to the bathroom. I personally wouldn't be offended if I saw a 6 year old or even a little older than that boy in the women's bathroom while I was changing. (most likely, I wouldn't be changing, do that when I get home) My older son, now 15, I had a hard time letting him go into the men's bathroom when he was younger. I waited right outside when he finally was like mom, I'm going to the boys room. There are a LOT of perverted men in the world, just look at the news, how many women are there vs men. My BIL used to be a truck driver, and he said NEVER let a boy go to the bathroom by himself at a truck stop, there is usually two ways to get out of the room, just not safe.

I don't know if you have a son, but if you don't, I do understand where you are coming from. Once you have a son, it's a whole other ball game. My daughter was my first, never was a thought, until my son came along. It's great when daddy or grandpa is around, but when it's just mommy and kiddos, safety is number 1!

9 moms found this helpful

My son is 7 and I took him in the women's room at a water park. Lucky for me he is rather small, so nobody would probably report me to the bathroom police. I'm sorry I'm being snarky here, but the poor woman was trying to take her kid swimming and be safe. There's no way I'd send my son in a locker room alone. There is usually more than 1 door to get in and out of and I don't feel comfortable about it at all. I'm more concerned about keeping him safe than offending anyone.

This is just another example of jumping to conclusions w/out knowing the whole story. It could be a tall child who was in fact young enough. Maybe he has a disability and needed to be there. Not every disability is visible to the naked eye. There is so much you don't know about the situation and as I said I will take my son anywhere with me if I think it is the safer option.

9 moms found this helpful

I wouldn't worry about a 6 yr old, personally. And some kids are huge and younger than you think. The other day we met a girl at the pool that I would have sworn was 5. She was THREE. I was floored.

So...1. it's hard to judge ages of kids and 2. you did what I'd suggest you'd do and that's talk to management. If you are really concerned, have a longer talk with management or write them a letter/email. Maybe they need more family space than they expected.

7 moms found this helpful

More Answers

Our city facility has a large family locker room, and no children of the opposite sex are allowed in the single-sex locker rooms. There's plenty of signage, and it's enforced. I will admit to having bent the rules and taken my baby boy in the ladies' a couple of times, but that was just to nurse and I don't think anyone minded.

I do recall when I was hugely pregnant last summer, I took a shower in the ladies' locker room and wrapped my towel around the only part of my body it fit on- my hair. On my way to the dressing room, I think I scared most of the girls' swim team into remaining celibate for many years.

14 moms found this helpful

What do you think a 6 year old is going to do? Check on the hot chicks changing? Take a video and post it on the internet? Post pictures on his blog? I mean, really...come one. SIX.

Perhaps, the mother has taught the child you do NOT look at other people changing. Imagine, a parent teaching decency. GASP!

14 moms found this helpful

Our pool has a family locker room, and children of the opposite gender over the age of 5 are expected to use it.

However, if there was not a family locker room, I'd definitely bring my 6 yr old boy into the ladies one. There is NO WAY IN HELL I'd allow my 6 yr old to walk into a men's locker room alone. No way! I don't even know If I'll let him when he's 10. There are just too many creeps nowadays. I think the very youngest I would allow him to do it would be 12.

12 moms found this helpful

I have a six year old taking swim lessons at our city pool. There is a women's restroom and a men's restroom - no family restroom (the place was probably built before such a thing existed). I take my son with me into the women's restroom - there is no way that I would send him in there alone. For one thing, he has trouble getting a wet bathing suit off by himself! The locker room area has stalls and we usually take the handicapped one because I also have an 18 month old (boy) - and we can't all fit in the regular ones. Would I take a family locker room if it existed? Yes - but it doesn't!

In a year or two, he will probably be able to handle the men's locker room but for now, he has to come with Mama and Baby Brother. IF you don't like it, too bad. I won't sacrafice my child's safety for your comfort.

C.

12 moms found this helpful

1) To me... ANY child's saftey trumps my modesty. Period.

1.5) I dont care what the rules state, any mom is welcome to bring her son in where Im at.

2) in our area it's 6 & Under in most placed

3) Many kids LOOK older than they are. My son was regularly mistaken for 7 or 8 when he was 4. By all kinds of people, all the time. I've had people tell me the age limit was SIX with a glare, and snorting in disbelief when I said, well that's good... Means we have 3 more years, since he just turned 4. I had to start bring his passport to ball places, etc. short kids can look 2-3 years younger, and tall ones 2-3 years older EASY.

An option, though, is the bright smile and "Oh, hey! Did you know they have family changing rooms at this pool?"

10 moms found this helpful

My son is 7 and I took him in the women's room at a water park. Lucky for me he is rather small, so nobody would probably report me to the bathroom police. I'm sorry I'm being snarky here, but the poor woman was trying to take her kid swimming and be safe. There's no way I'd send my son in a locker room alone. There is usually more than 1 door to get in and out of and I don't feel comfortable about it at all. I'm more concerned about keeping him safe than offending anyone.

This is just another example of jumping to conclusions w/out knowing the whole story. It could be a tall child who was in fact young enough. Maybe he has a disability and needed to be there. Not every disability is visible to the naked eye. There is so much you don't know about the situation and as I said I will take my son anywhere with me if I think it is the safer option.

9 moms found this helpful

My son will be 6 in September, probably looks over that now, since his cousin is 8 and they look the same age to me and others. I bring him in the restroom with me, sometimes the family room is not available, he has to go to the bathroom. I personally wouldn't be offended if I saw a 6 year old or even a little older than that boy in the women's bathroom while I was changing. (most likely, I wouldn't be changing, do that when I get home) My older son, now 15, I had a hard time letting him go into the men's bathroom when he was younger. I waited right outside when he finally was like mom, I'm going to the boys room. There are a LOT of perverted men in the world, just look at the news, how many women are there vs men. My BIL used to be a truck driver, and he said NEVER let a boy go to the bathroom by himself at a truck stop, there is usually two ways to get out of the room, just not safe.

I don't know if you have a son, but if you don't, I do understand where you are coming from. Once you have a son, it's a whole other ball game. My daughter was my first, never was a thought, until my son came along. It's great when daddy or grandpa is around, but when it's just mommy and kiddos, safety is number 1!

9 moms found this helpful

I completely agree with lillym. At 6 my son would not have been able to go alone into a changing room by himself, get dressed, pee, and remember to bring his clothes out. He would prob. be in there an hour, get lost in there, start playing in the sinks and then come out after leaving his stuff all over the floor. At 8 he is now able to do all of this stuff but at 6 there was no way I could send him alone. There were times he just had to come into the women's with us. If someone would have said something to me I would have been pissed.

Our local fun pool has a family room that is just 1 small room with nothing in there. We can use it to change but nothing else. No shower etc...

8 moms found this helpful

6 is sort of a transition age. There are 6-year-old boys who can change, pee, etc., in the men's room no problem, and there are 6-year-old boys who can't get a wet bathing suit off to save their lives. Guess which group my son belongs to? ;)

Our general policy is that when my husband is there, they go to the men's room. When there's a family restroom, we use that. But when it's just N. and me, no family restroom, into the ladies room we go. Sorry, but I am not going to send my shy, klutzy little boy into the men's room solo in NY Penn Station! And as an ordinary, grownup user of ladies rooms, I would MUCH rather a mom take her son into the ladies room than send him to the men's room before he's ready.

Even with boys much older than 6, there are so many kids with invisible special needs. In 99 out of 100 cases, I'd probably give the mom the benefit of the doubt and not say a word to anyone. I just value little boys' safety more than my own privacy -- and believe me, I'm a private, modest kinda gal.

8 moms found this helpful

I would use the family locker room. However, the last club we visited (for a swim party), the family locker room was in some far away part of the building - so most of the women at the party sent their 6 year olds into the men's locker room. . My son went into the men's locker room with DH. The whole bunch of 6 year old boys were just wandering around this HUGE locker room completely confused and stunned. They had no clue why adult men were wandering around nude (after all the little boys had been told their privates were private). They had no idea where in this gigantic area (the women's locker room had showers, at least four large locker/changing areas plus bathrooms and a lounge) they should change. They were VERY uncomfortable about changing their clothes in front of a bunch of strange naked men. So - no I don't really think it is ok to just send a little boy into the men's locker room without at least some coaching as to what he will find in there. Also - the room had at least 2 doors (at least the women's locker room did). I got turned around while I was there - a 6 year old could have easily wandered out the wrong door and been completely lost.

I personally don't care if a 6 year old boy is in the women's locker room. They are way less likely to be JUDGING than the other women in there.

ETA - I find it hard to believe that people have taught their 4 and 5 year old daughters to be embarrassed by their 4 and 5 year old bodies. My son (6-1/2) has no issues with nudity - I see no reason to teach him any. If he saw a classmate changing clothes - I can't imagine he could care less. I see ZERO difference between my son seeing one of his boy classmates naked and seeing one of his girl classmates naked. Of course they know there are differences. What if (gasp) he saw one of his TALL classmates naked? Or one of the BLONDE ones? Silly, huh.

8 moms found this helpful

The cut off at our gym was 7.
There were dressing areas/stalls with curtains, so everyone's modesty was preserved.
Sometimes the family dressing room was too full up - it would get seriously crowded in there.
I would not let my son go by himself into the men s locker room at 6 yrs old.
If Dad was with us, there were no problems - he'd take him through the men s side.
They should really expand the family areas by a lot.
I'm sure management hears it all from both sides.
It's hard to balance modesty with safety sometimes, but safety should win out.

8 moms found this helpful

Have you checked out the Family locker room? If is it same( with all ammenities) as the single sex ones, I can see your frustration. But many times, these rooms are just that, a bare room, tiny, only space for one pair of people at a time, many times they have no toilet or sink, they were added as an afterthought. Maybe it was occupied, there was a long line, maybe her son needed to go potty, or needs help changing, many boys do still need help at 6, especially with wet swimsuits. Put yourself in her shoes, would you send your daughter into the women's locker room alone, without you, and expect her to be able to navigate the whole process of changing and pottying and everything and come back out with everything she took in there with her???

Our Local YMCA says no boys over 5 in the women's locker room. Thankfully, they do have a special needs/family room for changing with older boys ,who for whatever reason you don't want in the Men's locker room alone, off to the side in the entryway to the Women's main locker room, but around the corner and out of sight of the main female changing area. But there is no toilet in there, no sink, just a smallish room with 6 lockers, a bench, and a door. Unlike others have said, there are no "stalls" or curtained off areas to change in our locker room - I don't see a probelm at all if that is the style of room it was, you still have privacy then, for the time you are naked. There are 2 small stalls that have a toilet in them - but you don't wanna hog those while others may need to pee, and 4 curtained off shower stalls, but they are always wet and slippery, one shower area has 4 showers right in a line with no curtains, so everyone usually is buck-naked in the middle of a large room lined with lockers on the walls. We are also lucky enough to have an 18 and over women only locker room within the regular women's locker room - it has the sauna in it and has a combo lock on the door. Unfortunately lots of places don't have the luxury of so much space to designate for different people to change in.

I don't know, 6 doesn't seem that old to me, it is a scary world out there, and without a trusted adult man to go in the locker room with my son, I wouldn't necessarily want him in there alone till 8 or 9. I understand the privacy issue, too, and people do need to teach their kids locker room manners - it is rude to stare, point and comment on other's bodies - pay attention to yourself, get changed and get out. But it is a slippery slope, where DO you draw the line? What if you had a 6 year old boy, would you send him into the men's locker room alone, if he had to go to the bathroom, or to change if the family locker room was full???

8 moms found this helpful

Since there was a family room as an option she should have used that. I take my boys ages 4 and 11 months with me in to bathrooms ect. But when we go to the Y I use the family changing room since the sign says I should. Perhaps the family rooms were all full at the time. I would see no problem with taking a 6 year old into a locker room if it was the only option. It just isn't safe to send a little boy into a men's locker room.

7 moms found this helpful

Wow, it seems like everyone here thinks that naked men are perverts. Mens locker rooms are not full of naked men just waiting for an unsuspecting kid to come along. Teach your kids about safety. Not to go with a stranger, no touching, no keeping secrets, etc. The rule at our Y is that children over the age of five can not use the opposite gender change rooms. That is pretty reasonable. A six year old should be able to change independently, and if he can't it is a good time to learn. It is also a good time to learn locker room etiquette, things like not staring at other people, not making comments etc. How do you think every other generation children learned to use locker rooms? There are family rooms, but I like to save those for families with kids who actually need assistance (young kids or those with disabilities etc). I don't really want a six year old boy "checking me out" in the ladies change room, and I can only imagine the horror a six year old classmate would feel if she suddenly came face to face with a male classmate while naked in the ladies change room. The same goes for washrooms. As a child I never remember moms bringing boys into ladies change rooms or washrooms, unless they were really young. I would ask managment to put up a sign as a reminder, as the people who drag their too old boys into the ladies locker room tend to be a bit unreasonable to begin with, and I wouldn't want the confrontation.

7 moms found this helpful

The swimming pools we use are all much older and none of them have family locker-rooms, so I always have to bring the kids with me.

My son is almost 6, and since he will be going to kindergarten in the fall and can use the restroom on his own without any trouble, I insist that he use the men's restroom each time it is reasonable to do so. When I do this I stand outside and wait for him. He should be just going in, using the restroom, washing his hands and coming right back out. If it seems like it's taking too long I can knock on the door and check on him.

The problem with the locker rooms is that he has to change into or out of the swim suit. I really try not to be the paranoid type, but I am not comfortable with him doing that alone in a men's locker-room. I realize I'm going to have to begin sometime soon, but I really an not ready. He's just too vulnerable right now. It takes too long to change, and I just don't want him unsupervised.

The family locker-room sounds like a great option. Wish we had those! As others said, they really could have been full or two crowded. I mean, have you seen how tiny those places can be?

For most of us, I think we are just too terrified of what could happen to our little guys, and we're not willing to risk it.

7 moms found this helpful

I wouldn't worry about a 6 yr old, personally. And some kids are huge and younger than you think. The other day we met a girl at the pool that I would have sworn was 5. She was THREE. I was floored.

So...1. it's hard to judge ages of kids and 2. you did what I'd suggest you'd do and that's talk to management. If you are really concerned, have a longer talk with management or write them a letter/email. Maybe they need more family space than they expected.

7 moms found this helpful

If the pool had the decency to make a family changing room availible i really don't understand why people still feel the need to bring their kid into opposite gender changing rooms. I completely get where you're coming from, imagine being a little girl and your male classmate comes in and sees you completely naked..I would never want to go to school again. I don't really mind when 6 year olds come in to the womens restroom when it is just male and womens but if there are family rooms availible people please use them, they are there for a reason!! In my gym it says any members with opposite sex children must use the family changing rooms and I have yet to see a boy in the womens changing room, as it should be. And fyi i guess people still don't understand this but not every adult male is a sexual predator or is waiting in mens locker rooms for younger boys to come in and steal them. They just go in change/shower/bathroom and mind their own business, like the women. Yes you should be aware, but you can't keep your kid going to the womens rooms until they are 18, right? My kids were raised in a different generation I guess but some people saying 12 years old..are you kidding me?! Kids can start puberty at 9!! Ugh sorry for ranting but yes you were right, if there was a family changing room they should have used it.

6 moms found this helpful

Maybe the women didn't see that there is a family locker room. I went to the pool almost daily for a month before I even noticed that they had a family locker room.

But generally, I don't think it's a huge deal if someone takes their male child to the ladies locker room.

6 moms found this helpful

These questions and answers always make me laugh. When someone posts a question on here asking when are kids too old to see you naked, bathe with them etc., most everyone (not all) will say when they notice a difference, when they become self-conscious, not over 4, etc. But when someone asks about about a women's locker room, it's okay to bring them in at 6 or 7? Sorry, but I don't think my 8 year old daughter should be worried that a 7 year old boy from her school is going to walk into the women's changing area and see her naked.

5 moms found this helpful

I would not have said anything to the mother, but I would have said something to the front desk as well.

This is a really tough situation. If there is a "family" changing area, then it's a no-brainer as to which one "families" are expected to use. If there isn't, then it's up to the parent who is really the only person who can judge the child's maturity. I don't know that I would send my son (now 4) into a locker room at age 6 unattended. MAYBE 8 or 9, but definitely not sooner. If there's a problem, a 6 year old may not know what to do.

When I nannied for 12 year old boy with Autism, we ran into this frequently. Physically, he was old enough to go into the men's locker room on his own and change. Cognitively/developmentally... no. He could toilet and dress himself independently, but he could not be left unattended. When we went to an amusement park and he needed to use the restroom, I asked a female employee to go in and "check" for me so that I could take him to the ladies' room and stand outside the stall "just in case".

You never know the situation... maybe there was a man with his children already in the "family room".

5 moms found this helpful

How many family changing rooms are there? 2? I mean, really. I have gone to so many pools with my kids and you end up waiting 15-20 minutes for the one or two family changing rooms! It's ridiculous.
I take my boys in with me. I don't care if it bothers anyone. They are 6 and 9. I have them sit on a bench facing the wall or sit in a changing room. They are MY children and it is MY job to keep them safe. That means that they don't get to go into the men's locker room.
My 9 year old doesn't want to come with me into the room, and I understand that. But, he comes because I make him. He wouldn't be caught dead ogling you.
Laura

5 moms found this helpful

I totally agree with you. Our pool has a sign on both locker rooms indicating that opposite sex children over age 3 must use the family changing rooms. However, many women still ignore the sign and bring in kids 6-8 years old, which I think is disrespectful of the other little girls who are changing as well as the women. My 4 yr old's private areas should be private in a ladies locker room from a 6-8 yr old boy, especially when there are family changing areas available and specifically reserved for families with opposite sex children. It's rude. I also have commented to management, as I figure someone who ignores the sign will ignore whatever I say as well. My daughter generally asks (loudly) why there is a boy in there, and I respond "I don't know. Boys his age are not supposed to be in here."

By the way, our family rooms are individual rooms with a shower, toilet, sink, etc. They are nicer than the locker rooms. The reason some people choose not to use them when they should is that they don't want to wait in line a couple of minutes to get to use one of the family rooms. This is also why parents who have same-sex children with them are asked NOT to use the family rooms, which is a rule that I comply with out of following posted rules and as a courtesy to others (even though it is nicer than the locker rooms).

5 moms found this helpful

I get what you are saying you were in the womens locker room and there is a family locker room for families. This same scenario happened to me just last week. There is a sign that says Women's Locker Room 16 yrs and over. The family locker room is next to this room. In walks this lady and her 5 or 6 yr old son. I am well endowed so he got an eye full and the expression on his face showed it which made me feel very uncomfortable. When facilities designate who should enter parents need to comply with that.

As for where I would take a 6 yr old boy I can see not wanting him to go to the mens locker room by himself but use the family locker room and be mindful that at that age they do see the difference. When my daughter whose 5 is changing and sees a boy she quickly tries to cover up. She knows theres a difference and the boys do too.

5 moms found this helpful

My six year old would have been mortified had I pulled him into a locker room with a ton of naked strange women - that said, I have been at they gym and he needed to "go" when I was dropping him off and the kids club bathroom was occupied. I covered his eyes - ran him back to the potty, then ran him back out. I know, but there are some things little boys eyes don't need to see. . . However, had I not been the mom, I'd have waited until the kid was gone to change myself. How uncomfortable for the others in the locker room.

4 moms found this helpful

I'd say - if I were in that position, I'd use the Family Locker room... our YMCA has one, and that's what we always use.

We also have a Men and Boy's locker room and a Women and Girls locker room... and then there is the Women over 18 and Men over 18. SO - even the men with their sons can choose a space that is more comfortable for kids (than the only old men section - hehe). AND when I go by myself (or leave my kids in childcare) I can have some ADULT only time and not have to listen to other kids or feel like I need to cover up or offend any mom's with little kids while I get dressed in the women's locker room.

BUT - once when we visited a different Y, their Family Locker room was under construction, and we used the ladies instead. My son was 6 (and his brother was 4) at the time.

Did we get some looks? Yes... but I just explained that my boys were too young to change alone after swimming.

I probably would have ignored it myself (not said anything to management) but I am a mom to two boys, so they do still occasionally have to be in that situation with me. I don't let my oldest use a bathroom alone unless we are someplace that I consider "safe".

4 moms found this helpful

If the Family Changing Room is a suitable place, that family should have used it. Perhaps there was some sort of issue with the room that day.
However, I am the mother of two boys and when they were younger it was a very uneasy feeling sending them into a locker room or even a bathroom alone. I didn't let them do much of anything alone but I'm supposed to send them into a room I cannot enter and take thier clothes off? I've always tried to be as respectful of others as possible, but sometimes the safety of my child must come first. I am lucky now that my older son is 13 and tall than I am, he can watch out for his 10 year old brother. When the little one and I are out and about alone I still feel a little uneasy sending him in alone.

M.

4 moms found this helpful

This drives me insane! Our locker room rules are actually 5 and under and there are signs posted on the doors to both the men's and women's locker rooms. We don't have a family locker room but there are two changing stalls in the actual pool area. When I am with my younger boys, we use those stalls to change. There is a guy who comes with his sons and daughter (who is 6 - she was in my youngest son's K class) and used to bring his daughter into the men's locker room all the time and my husband would get all fired up about it. He did say something to the management so I don't know if they said anything to the dad but they started to use the pool stalls as well.

In the case of your place, there is no excuse. i would request signs on the locker room doors and after those are up, if I saw a boy in the locker room who was over the age, I would just say to the mom "I bet he'd be more comfortable in the family locker room, I know I sure would be!" and leave it at that.

4 moms found this helpful

Sounds like the family changing room at this facility is reasonably sized...however, many of the ones I've seen are ONE family only sized. And everyone wants to use family rooms so the line is always so long.

Safety is number one no matter your modesty, my modesty anyone's modesty. And if I had a six-eight year old an he has to come in with me then so be it!

I don't know what is the proper age...cause I don't think my kids have reached that age. I would use the family facility if it was available...but if there is a line no way! I would not have said anything to anyone...

4 moms found this helpful

Have you been to the family locker room? Because as others have said, a lot of times they're just "stalls" or closets (no showers, toilets, etc). And, sometimes there are only 2 or 3 stalls. There's a possibility that they were all occupied, or she wanted her son to be able to shower/pee/etc.

If I had seen the the family locker room had adequate space/facilities, I *might* have said something to the mom along the lines of, "Hi, is your son taking swim lessons here....how old is he?" I most likely would have just let it go.

As to your comment about little ones not noticing and commenting on differences, my daughter at 2 "noticed" that daddy had a "front butt" that was like a boy in her daycare and different from mommy's....and commented on it very loudly. :)

4 moms found this helpful

Honestly, I've never been in a changing room at a pool and seen anyone changing out in the open. They always usually have curtains or stalls that people change in. So, I wouldn't have an issue with a 6 yr old boy in there. I'd make sure I was changing in private behind a curtain. I'd never let my son go into a mens room alone, maybe age 8 or so. Or my 6 year old daughter into a ladies room alone. I'm too paranoid for that and I don't know if they would know what to do if something happened or they had a problem. That being said, if there was a family changing room available, I would be using that. So...it's odd that this lady didn't use it, but maybe there was a reason?

4 moms found this helpful

Sometimes kids look older than they really are because they are tall or large. So take that into account. Other than that, I think that moms just don't "think" because they are too close to the forest to see the trees...

I think you did everything right, and it's a good thing your little guy piped up - she can't get mad at a child for saying it. However, if you see her in there again, I wouldn't blame you one bit if you asked her how old her son is. If she says he's six, I think you should tell her that he's too old to looking at naked women in the locker room, and it's uncomfortable for the women to have him there. She can take him in the family changing room - that's what it's for.

Sometimes you have to just flat out say things to people because they don't want the rules to apply to them.

D.

3 moms found this helpful

Why is okay for a boy to see women naked, but not men? Talk about hypocrisy.

3 moms found this helpful

I think the point of contention here is that there was a family locker room available, but was not used. Clearly, the woman should have used the family locker room with her older child. I would not want my daughter, who is 6 and finished K, to have her male classmate able to see her changing at the pool. It's not appropriate, IMO.

It's also not appropriate to send a 6 yo into a locker room by himself and hope he comes out with no problems.

If I saw a boy that age and we HAD to change in the locker room, I'd wait until a large stall became open and we would have changed there. Usually, I don't change my kids in the locker room if we are just going home anyway, and always tell them to keep their eyes to themselves to give people as much privacy as possible in that cramped space.

3 moms found this helpful

Hmm. That's too old. Dressing rooms or toilets are different because there's stalls. But a locker room, people are just changing clothes in the open and I wouldn't feel comfortable doing so with an elementary aged boy in the room, nor would I bring my son in. That is what the family locker room is for, after all. I'd have done the same as you---contact management about it.

If there isn't a family room option, then again I'd take my 5 year old to the bathroom with me, but for a locker room (the Y or a fitness center with a pool?) where there's no stalls and people changing clothes, we'd just go home in our swimsuits. If I was in a water aerobics class or whatever, and my kids were in daycare because we weren't swimming for fun but actually in a class, yeah----EVERYONE just changed clothes by their lockers. But if the kids were with me, we go home to change.

We go to the pool all the time in our swim suits (also the beach): we dry off well before walking to the car, and we have dry towels for the seats in the car, and I wear a coverup that looks like a dress that just slips on over my swimsuit. It's not hard to just ride home and change clothes at home. We're gonna shower anyway, and I won't do that in a public place--I want to use MY shower where I know how well it's been cleaned. It's not hard to follow rules, use some sense, and take other peoples' feelings into account.

3 moms found this helpful

In this case there was a family changing room the mother should have used it. Yesterday I took my 7 to a woman's changing room at the beach. there were places to change with privacy, stalls for changing and stalls for showering and changing so no issues with privacy. Afterwards my daughter's 22 yr old boyfriend admitted he did not want to take my son in the mens changing room because there are usually men walking around naked despite the changing areas. I feel better he was with me and I could control what he did and did not see. As Mira said I value children's safety over my privacy. I hope the trend is to have more family changing areas and family bathrooms because I am more and more afraid to send him alone and he is getting older and older.....

2 moms found this helpful

i absolutely agree that with a family locker room, that's where this mom and son belonged. however, i have a 5 (almost 6) year old - who looks older - and he accompanies me into ladies' restrooms because i will not trust people enough to send him on his own into the men's.

2 moms found this helpful

I think our Y has a sign up about 5 or 6 and under is okay. It doesn't bother me if they are a little older if they are just changing quick, etc. My son is still under two so really no big deal for him yet. There are family rooms, but only one has a bathroom, the rest are just rooms to change. So it is nice that they are there, but they aren't the most practical.

2 moms found this helpful

You're right, that's what the family locker room is for. When I have come across that situation it has been at older facilities with no "family room" so I've just made the best of it and tried to change discreetly out of view. I don't know why anyone with the need wouldn't use the family room. I guess if I saw that the boy wasn't really paying attention to me or others changing I would let it go. If he was staring or making my or children uncomfortable, I would also ask the management to post a sign (some do) and/or that they remind people to use the famiy room. I would have a hard time making a confrontational comment right there in front of children and others. I only have girls, but I know I would be extremely protective if I happened to have boys.

2 moms found this helpful

I've always been very uncomfortable with boys in the ladys' dressing/changing room, since there aren't any stalls like in a regular ladys' room, so I never took mine in the ladys' dresssing/changing room. My boy was always way too observant to the point of even commenting on 4-letter words on clothing, low shirts on women, etc. at a very young age. I can still see him standing there in BK staring at a woman behind us. He was only 3 yro. What could a 3 yro. possibly know. Yep, right. Next thing I know he's asking me what "F____" means right in front of everybody. The woman whinsed and covered her belt. I asked him where he heard it and he said, "Mom. I didn't hear it. I read it....It's on her beltbuckle." The lady appologised while I blushed and told her, I wouldn't have noticed if it weren't for him. So how did I handle my little boy?....I brought my husband along and let him take our son into the Mens' dressing room. If hubby couldn't go with, I we just came already dressed to swim and I brough a lot of towels so we could just jump into the car and not worry about being wet.

1 mom found this helpful

That is tough. I think in that situation I would have certainly used the family room. However in some places that is not an option. So if there is no family option I think I would have just gone into a restroom stall with my child to change so he would be safe and we could both change. Now if you had to pass people on your way by to the stalls I would have just instructed him to look straight ahead and move quickly. I wouldn't have my 6 yr old out in the open in a locker room, I do think that is getting too old but I wouldn't send him alone into the mens room/ locker room either. I say about 4 is old enough for a locker room. My 5 yr old is very aware of the female form at this age, it is totally innocent but he probably would stare!, so I wouldn't want to overload his little brain or make others uncomfortable.

1 mom found this helpful

I would never go into a mens locker room and would not allow my son to go into a mens dressing room alone so unles daddy is with us he would be coming into the bathroom with me rather than risk kidnapping. If u don't have a son you may not understand.

1 mom found this helpful

I have a 5 y/o boy and wouldn't feel comfortable letting him go into the men's locker room alone. I would however cover his eyes while walking and make sure that he is not in the locker room where people are changing, I would bring him into a stall and change there. If there was a family changing room available I would definitely go there instead of taking him into the ladies

1 mom found this helpful

If there there was no family locker room I think it was ok for the boy to be with his mom. 6 is too young for any child to be changing alone. But like you said, there was a family room. Perhaps the mom was new or just didn't know about it? I would have appreciated a gentle tip if I were the mom you mentioned. Or maybe it was being cleaned? Give her the benefit of the doubt and next time either say something yourself or tell the management. My son is 4 and has made comments about my body that I have to tell him to keep to himself and it's private. So I kinda agree with you.

1 mom found this helpful

Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.